Class act Laurel Hubbard has no regrets
The hearts of weightlifting fans across the Commonwealth broke for Laurel Hubbard when the New Zealander injured her elbow on her final snatch lift on the last day of GC2018 Weightlifting.
But Hubbard, the first transgender athlete to compete at a Commonwealth Games and a favourite for the gold, proved she's a class act on and off the weightlifting platform when she insisted she had "no regrets", praising the crowd and weightlifting community for their support.
"We can always go back over these things in our heads, but the truth is that unless we try to be the best person we can be, the best athlete, then really we are not being true to sport," Hubbard said after she had to withdraw from the competition.
"Medals are only one measure of performance. I am obviously unhappy I had to withdraw, but I gave it everything I had and I can sleep well knowing that.
"I think you have to be true to yourself and I hope in this case that's what I've done."
'Being true to yourself' could well be Hubbard's motto - it's the way she's carried herself throughout her career.
She was at the centre of a media storm when she was selected on the New Zealand team, despite meeting all of the eligibility criteria as prescribed by the International Olympic Committee and International Weightlifting Federation.
With all of the attention she had received, Hubbard admitted she was worried about the crowd's reception when the time came to compete.
But the loud cheers she received when she stepped onto the platform was everything she needed to hear.
"I would be untrue to say the thought never crossed my mind," she said.
"No indication of that at all today. They were absolutely fantastic. It's a credit to the Australian people and the broader sporting community.
"The Australian crowd was magnificent. It felt just like a big embrace. They really made me try to lift my best.
"The Commonwealth Games here are a model for what sport can, and should, be. It's an incredible environment and an amazing atmosphere.
"Without any doubt, they have lived up to the mantra of humanity, equality and decency [sic]."
Ahead of the Games, Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Chief Executive Officer David Grevemberg reiterated the CGF's support of Hubbard's eligibility to compete.
"Eligibility includes nationality, it includes gender, it includes age, so it is very, very clear that Laurel is eligible to compete," he said ahead of the Games.
Hubbard, the favourite for the gold, was attempting a Commonwealth record snatch of 132kg in the women's +90kg competition when she twisted her elbow, dropping the bar behind her. Hubbard left the platform in pain and received treatment in the 10-minute break before the clean and jerk round began before having to withdraw.
"I am happy with the decisions I made today. I have no regrets," Hubbard said.
"It's obviously a difficult time, but the one thing I am happiest about is that I tried to reach for my best performance. This happens sometimes, but that's the sport."
The extent of her injury isn't clear, but Hubbard is hopeful that it won't affect her future weightlifting plans.
"At this stage we don't know the exact details," she said.
"It seems likely I have ruptured a ligament. Until they do a scan we won't know the details.
"The saving grace in all of this is I'm not in any great pain at the moment. I'm sure that will come with time."
Hubbard made history in 2017 as the first New Zealand athlete to win a medal at the Weightlifting World Championships.